CM Cedillo’s MP2035 Statement Made During Council [preliminary transcript]

CEDILLO: Members, let me add my voice to those who are concerned about inadequate community input, and public safety. My district is a district that is poverty stricken, pollutant-burdened, culturally diverse, linguistically diverse, and with respect to pedestrian fatalities, unfortunately number one, amongst those that are ranked within the data.

I would love to support and came to support this aspirational document.  But I’m concerned in doing so that with all the concerns that have been raised here, that this aspirational document becomes in some respects the constitution, for us, moving forward as a city.  We should not do that hastily.  We should take the time that’s needed to make sure that it’s completed in a way that contains all these elements.  Here’s what our concern is: that the foundation for this, in a city of 3.8 million people and where 92 languages are spoken, that only 1,114 active participants participated in the original drafting of the mobility plan.  That’s zero-zero-zero-two percent of the city’s population.  We can and must do better.

I’m concerned that not a single meeting, of four city workshops, two scoping meetings on the ER, seven community planning forums were in my district.  I have a district of Latinos and I’m talking about Mexicans and Salvadorans and Guatemalans and Central Americans.  I have a district of Asians, Chinese, various languages, Koreans, Filipinos.  They need to be part of this conversation and part of this dialogue.  I have a community where people are poor, and where they have pollution, and it’s-and, and they need a response that’s better than saying the transition will be difficult for some.  That is just inadequate, that if we agree that there’s going to be more congestion as a result of this transition period over the next 20 years, there has to be a deeper and more sensitive response than saying the transition will be difficult for some.  The fact of the matter is 85 percent of the people use their vehicles, 650,000 people drive into the downtown area, the greater downtown area, every day.  They’re not included in your statistics.  Right?

The fact of the matter is, we have to do the things that position us to accomplish the things that are aspirational.  We have to build more housing, we have to build up, we have to be concerned about those who don’t have the capacity to make other choices.  The fact of the matter is, there’s one percent of the population that uses bicycles.  I’m excited that they may grow 170 percent through this plan, assuming that’s the case, that takes us to 2.7 percent.  The fact of the matter is, one percent are pedestrians, but all of us are pedestrians at one point in this process.

And when we reviewed the history in my district, the major concern that we have, are fatalities and hit and runs to pedestrians, and they have to be part of this conversation and part of this dialog.  I have to respect the fact that there are some seniors in my district.  I have to respect the fact that we have challenges with people with obesity and physical challenges, and accessability, and I have to be a representative for the entirety of my district, not simply one percent, but the entirety of my district.  We’ve had those conversations in my district.

We had two town hall meetings.  And let me tell you the results and the concerns were distinct from what’s being articulated here.  And many of the concerns were concerns around the question of public safety.  And that’s just a reality that we cannot avoid, we cannot be hasty about.  So while I may share your aspirations, I am a representative of an entire community, and as such I must be responsive to the entirety of my community, and as such, at this moment, unless you’re prepared to take our amendments that respect and respond to the entirety of CD 1, I must ask for a “no” vote.

[second section]

CEDILLO: As I said, I came into this building to vote for this mobility plan, I truly want to, I share the aspirations, I share the broader vision, in its entirety.  But, and so I want to be a member of this 15-member body that supports this broader view, but the reality is, is that I’m a representative of a specific district, and I have a responsibility to the entirety of that district, not simply those who have an interest, that drives their agenda, but to the entirety of the district.

I have, this responsibility, there’s no waiver, there’s no break in this, and so the amendments I brought, as a representative of that district, for me have to be part of this mobility plan.  And so I want to them be part of them, I’m asking for them to be voted upon, so that then I could vote for this plan, this is my simple request, Mr. President, that those concerns that have been raised, we’ve had public hearings that had more people percentage wise than the entirety of those who participated in the mobility plan.

And in that, there was not a consensus for this plan, and so the amendments we’re making address the concerns that were raised in those meetings.  And so I’m certainly asking, as a person representing my district, that those concerns, that I move them forward and that they have the deference and respect that I would offer and give to anybody else on this floor with respect to concerns that they raise, for their district.  I have full deference for every member on this floor.